Oh man, AMD is on its way to progress. Only a few years ago it appeared the company was headed for relative obscurity in the fields dominated by Intel and Nvidia. Now in 2020, the company has managed to swap beats with its heavyweight competitors in two different markets. Case in point: The Company Today I showed The Radeon RX 6000 Series, set and priced, delivers a real challenge to Nvidia’s RTX 3000 – and may save you some money.
This is no small feat, given the fact that AMD was behind the previous generation and that the new Nvidia cards are one of its biggest generational leaps ever. However, if AMD’s performance metrics are to be believed, the RX 6800 ($ 579), 6800 XT ($ 649), and 6900 XT ($ 999) offer real competition to the RTX 3070 ($ 500), 3080 ($ 700) and 3090 ( $ 1,500) respectively. The RX 6900 XT in particular looks like a great deal.
AMD claims its new RDNA 2 technology delivers up to twice the performance of the previous generation while drawing nearly the same amount of power (and fewer Nvidia equivalents). This is despite the fact that the company uses the same 7nm transistor size as on the previous cards.
One source of improvement is something called “Infinity Cache,” which is basically 128MB of cache during playback to reduce GPU processing latency. The company doesn’t provide many other details on how it will achieve these gains, but hey, we’ll take it.
Raytracing has been a big part of Nvidia’s graphics push in the past few years, so new cards support DirectX raytracing acceleration on every compute unit for up to ten times faster performance compared to software-based raytracing. The cards also support AMD’s FidelityFX, which is an open source toolkit for developers to easily add high-quality lighting effects.
Variable rate shading, for example, allows developers to spend less processing resources on areas of the image that are not as important, while the raster should have cleaner lighting for ray tracing. It also has something called “ Super Resolution, ” which appears to be the company’s counterpart to Nvidia’s DLSS upgrade technology.
AMD also has a more subtle advantage: its technology is used in the PS5 and Xbox Series. This should give the company a chance to acquire cross-platform titles.
Here are some of the chipsets AMD has provided to compare its cards with Nvidia. AMD will likely choose which games its cards will perform the most in, but it’s impressive to see the cards swing nonetheless. Here’s the RX 6800 vs the RTX 2080 Ti, roughly equivalent to the RTX 3070:
Here’s how the RX 6800 XT compares to the RTX 3080. In this graph, AMD is also showing something called “Smart Access Memory,” which is a proprietary technology to allow computers running the latest Ryzen processors to directly access GPU memory:
And finally, this is the RX 6900 compared to the RTX 3090:
It’s the first time in a long time that the red team has flagship graphics cards that look exactly equal to Nvidia’s – while apparently consuming less power as well.
The proof is in the dessert, so we’ll learn more once the cards are measured by independent users and posts. The RX 6800 and 6800 XT will be available from November 18, while the 6900 XT model will arrive on December 8.
If you have 25 minutes to kill, you can watch the full AMD announcement below:
Posted October 29, 2020 – 02:13 UTC
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